Otto von Bismarck once said: “Laws are like sausages. It’s better not to see them being made.”
To my mind, few things could have illustrated this clearer than yesterday’s vote on the Digital Economy bill, where – as the vote was finally called – the room quickly filled with MPs who had completely missed out on the debate of the last two days.
Faster than you could say “Stitch-up” or “Democratic deficit” the vote was overwhelmingly passed thanks to a reported 3 line whip and a back room deal with the Conservatives. Only the Liberal Democrats and one awesome Labour back bencher did the right thing.
It should be noted as well that the Labour back bencher in question was actively tweeting during the proceedings.
So that’s pretty much that. The bill as passed will pretty much regulate away the UK technology industry and provide a quick and cost effective mechanism to curtail free speech and governmental scrutiny, leaving only big business and a gagged population.
Someone much more cynical than me may suggest that this was the idea. Afterall, it is in both big business and government’s interest that you are unquestioning ignorant consumers – simple economic units that work, buy stuff and pay taxes.
So, with this and other laws worthy of East Germany making the UK feel less like a country and more like a cage, I and many others are left looking about for a free country to live in.
While I do that, I will just point out that Labour and the Conservatives are the same people – so please remember this when it comes to the ballot box.